Sunday, September 7, 2014

"Reggio Style" Documentation Approach in Early Childhood

"Reggio Style" Documentation Approach in Early Childhood

REGGIO! 
REGGIO EMILIA, ITALY & ETSU [Eastern Tenn State University] 
I present at a LOT of early childhood, kindergarten, literacy conferences. I've seen some incredible events in the last nineteen years. One this summer REALLY took the cake! Annually at ETSU there is an early childhood conference that rang true in every possible aspect -- from organization and outline to presenters and tracks of focus. If you are a proponent of the Arts then this is the event for you! 

There were three of us that shared the big stage and keynote track -- all of us in the music field. I got to spend some quality time with Michael Levin and Jack Hartmann. 



Yes. That fact alone would be sufficiently awesome to recommend a conference. The track that totally stole my heart was the one that focused from morning to late afternoon on a "REGGIO" approach to early education. There was an entire lecture sized room dedicated to sharing examples of program's 'documentation' of their Reggio-esque applications with young children. 

I was TOTALLY caught in the web of all things spider! 

"Reggio Style" Documentation Approach in Early Childhood

"Reggio Style" Documentation Approach in Early Childhood












Reggio Emilia Italy Childcare Center Foyer Devoted to Children's Art

From my personal scrapbook: that's the two story foyer of one of the new early childhood buildings in Reggio Emilia. A child's drawing has been ENLARGED by professional artists across the two story entrance to set a tone of child-friendly welcome as you join this new space. If you look closely in the large photo above, just below the large heart, to the right is the original child's drawing taped to the wall for comparison. What JOY!!!

Let me say that it has always been my understanding that it is the 'environment' that plays such a significant role in Reggio. Environment and Arts. These basics are one differentiation from a 'typical,' even outstanding  US educational classroom. This environment itself is considered the 'third teacher.' The classroom is designed as something of a 'studio.' 

In Italy there are often working artists involved in the program who have their actual studio space within the school setting. Arts are integrated at every opportunity. Children are not excluded from the 'professional' arts process, but available to it. Observing it in action. Integrated into it. Surrounded by it. Inspired by it and offering inspiration, too! The presentation of supplies, art supplies in particular, makes you feel like you are in an artist's studio. The materials are invitational in their organization. Beauty. Color. Light. Shadows. Holistic. Plants. Life. Sensory. Respect. Integrated. 

Reggio, Italy Signs within the Early Childcare Center


A Reggio Approach to Early Childhood Education

Let me preface today's article of visual insight with a little background. My degree is in Fine Arts and Art Education. I've spent over 30 years devoted to my passion of integrating the Arts into education. 
I now travel the country (and the world) sharing with educators and students just how that can be accomplished through weaving together music, dancing, story-telling, movement, writing, laughter and picture books as a foundation. A foundation with a 'hundred languages.' At least. I have had the great good fortune of spending a couple of weeks in Italy. It was the opportunity of a lifetime to specifically tour across the province of Reggio Emilia, visiting, touring and performing in schools for the children there. It's a delight to share from this perspective. 

A quick check on Wikipedia can give you an overview of the Reggio Approach. It is a philosophy that emerged after WW2 in response to the critical needs felt by parents on behalf of their children. Parents and teachers together. Teachers and parents together. Respecting the child. Arts. Documentation. Environment. Long-term projects. Arts. Integration. REGGIO!

"Reggio" Classroom Set-Up of Materials

"Reggio" Classroom Set-Up of Materials

"Reggio" Classroom Writing Center of Materials

"Reggio" Classroom Art Supplies

Reggio-Classroom using Clay

Reggio-Classroom using Clay via RainbowsWithinReach

Reggio-Art Project Preschool Painting

Reggio Documentation of Children's art via RainbowsWithinReach

Reggio Documentation of Children's art via RainbowsWithinReach

Reggio Documentation of Children's art via RainbowsWithinReach

Reggio Documentation of Children's art via RainbowsWithinReach

Reggio Style Emphasis on Natural Materials Available to Children at RainbowsWithinReach

Reggio Arts Projects in 3 Dimensions at RainbowsWithinReach

Reggio Arts and Literacy Connection and Extension via RainbowsWithinReach

Reggio Arts Infused "Jungle Classroom" via RainbowsWithinReach

Reggio Arts Infused "Jungle Classroom" via RainbowsWithinReach

Reggio Arts Infused "Jungle Classroom" via RainbowsWithinReach w/Mylar Waterfall

Reggio Rain Forest via RainbowsWithinReach

Reggio Rain Forest via RainbowsWithinReach






Reggio Emilia Italy Toddler Painted "Open-Ended" Media Exploration Transformed into Display Product via RainbowsWithinReach


Thanks for your support! I am so appreciative of your pins!

Thanks for your support! I am so appreciative of your pins!
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